A rockin’ Mardi Gras festival where people refuse to recycle…
Volunteering with an environmental group to walk in the town parade for the Mardi Gras festival, a group of us discussed afterwards how wrong it felt to throw plastic beads at children while holding a sign about saving the earth.
“We might as well have been tossing empty plastic water bottles on the street. Same difference,” one of the members said.
Once I finished my round in the parade, I enjoyed the festival with my friend Peggy. We sipped coffee and nibbled muffins while rooted at the front windows of the quaint, local Blue Goose coffee shop to view the end of the parade, reminding me why it’s so easy to fall in love with this town. We browsed the festival booths and I was thrilled to find so many homemade products–local baskets, sewn bags, crocheted scarves, a couple that created chimes from seashells off St. Simon’s island. Even a “survivor” who sold beer and wine home-brew kits and encouraged us to “Get it now, tomorrow may be too late.” Horrible music pounded in our ears and the intoxicating smell of fried dough hung in the air.
St. Marys really put on a Mardi Gras show. It wasn’t New Orleans, but I was impressed. I spent a few hours listening and learning from environmentalists as they answered questions for concerned citizens about why the city didn’t recycle magazines, and how to fix various recycling snags with a phone call. I met interesting, vibrant citizens of the community and gardening club. A few youth stopped to ask questions, mainly folks over 50. Families with children wandered by eating off styrofoam plates, the majority not even giving the recycling containers a glance.
The recycling was rounded up…
I was shocked. The festival started at 10 in the morning and ran all afternoon and this was all the recycling? The economy is down, maybe folks simply weren’t buying. But one peek in the trash cans as I passed by, and therein– my answer.
This is the year 2012. Recycling containers were placed alongside all the trash containers. People know what recycling is. They know what the word means. They know how to do it.
The question is–why aren’t they? Is caring regional? Because our neighbors up north have us beat on this one. The festive, colorful parade and booths suddenly took a dark turn and all I noticed was waste.
The more involved in the community I become, the more I notice when people “don’t.” Am I being too harsh on this little town to expect more? If the south is known to be associated with the word ignorance, then education is the only chance we have to change anything.
EDUCATION IS THE KEY.
What is your city doing to educate its people in the ways of recycling?
- DIY Mardi Gras Roundup (thestitcherati.com)
- Hosting a Festive Mardi Gras Party (redenvelope.com)
- Mardi Gras Crafts Round-Up (dayledann.wordpress.com)
- ChewBacchians Want to Conquer Mardi Gras (jonathanmoya.wordpress.com)